I have four charity events and one stylish black tie optional party to go to. I need heels with arch support! I have plantar fasciitis and wear a 41 or true 10. Can you help? I'm wearing dresses to all of them. My feet problems seem to be related to tamoxifen.
It seems arch support has made its way into ballet flats, loafers, slip-ons and oxfords, but very few heels can claim it. I wish I could show you drop-dead gorgeous heels by Jimmy Choo or Kate Spade with decent arch support, but as you know, they don't exist. Even Stuart Weitzman, who makes elegant evening shoes with fairly comfortable footbeds and manageable heels, doesn't give a hoot about the arch. And the brands that tout cushy, cloud-like padding? Well, padding may feel good on the heel and ball-of-foot, but the arch doesn't care about foam. It needs structure.
So, dear reader, this is what I've found. I hope one of them suits your fancy and is actually dressy enough for the events that you have planned.
1. This is the Aetrex Taylor cap-toe mary jane with a 2.5" heel. A built-in Lynco orthotic provides superior arch support and a metatarsal pad reduces pressure on forefoot. A removable footbed will accommodate a dress orthotic. Available in sizes 6-11, medium and wide widths. $149.95 at Shoebuy.com, free shipping and returns. $129-149 at Amazon, free shipping. If you prefer a true pump to a mary jane, take a look at the Aetrex Jessie.
2. Aetrex Tara: A glitzier heel than the Taylor with a three inch heel but features the same arch support. Available in medium and wide widths. $139.95 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. On sale at 6pm.com for $56.99 with free shipping, $49-125 at Amazon with free shipping and returns, $139.95 at FootwearEtc.com, free shipping.
3. Naot Diamanti: Although the cork/latex footbed is completely removable to accommodate a dress orthotic, you might find your feet plenty comfortable leaving it as is. This 2 3/4" heel with a 1/2" platform features a steel shank for lateral stability and a lightweight polyurethane sole to absorb shock. $189.95 at OnlineShoes.com, free shipping and exchanges, $190 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns, $190 at PlanetShoes.com, free shipping and returns.
4. If you prefer a 3" heel with arch support, try the Oh! Tori with a removable contoured insole. Plus, if you're into animal prints, the Tori comes in a mean leopard-print pony hair. $149.95 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. On sale at 6pm.com from $121-165, free shipping, $76-219 at Amazon, free shipping and returns.
5. Romanian-made Ara shoes may be lesser known than other comfort brands, but they deliver all-day comfort and support while maintaining a truly elegant profile. The Tacy is a simple, classic pump with a 2" heel and 1/2" platform. The Tacy features moderate arch support and a cushioned footbed. Read more about this style at the Ara website. Runs slightly large. $194.95 at OnlineShoes.com, free shipping and exchanges. $177 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. $189.95 at The Walking Company, free shipping.
6. Taryn Rose Fierce: If you can wear an open-toe 3" heel, this one might just do the trick. You can actually see the arch support in the Fierce style by Italian-made Taryn Rose. $249 at Zappos; $244 at Amazon with free shippng and returns.
Honorable Mention: The Earthies Monza from last season. See it on my friend, Connie, and read her review. The shoe is still available and on sale at a few retailers.
One more suggestion. You might want to try a pair of Orthaheel Slimfit orthotics to fit into your favorite pair of heels (they work best if the shoe has removable insoles). The Slimfit is made to fit into dress shoes and provides excellent support.
Readers, do you have further recommendations? Please leave a comment to help our reader find the perfect shoes for her upcoming charity events.